Daunting task for MBU at Drewsland

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, December 23, 2012

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THE Yuletide season is upon us, but none of the Red Stripe Premier League teams will be in the mood to give anything away as they hunt crucial points and jockey for positions for a spot in the second End-of-Round Final in a few weeks’ time.

Overall leaders Harbour View, on 37, hold a seven-point lead and will travel to an improved Cavalier outfit down in eighth spot on 26, having a very good second round winning four of their seven games.

In their first encounter at the Compound, Harbour View whipped the promoted Cavalier, 4-0, a result that propelled the new boys into action as they won six of their last 10 games, losing just twice.

But despite their good recent form which has seen them garner 13 secondround points, compared to Harbour View’s 12, and playing at home at the Stadium East field, Cavalier will start as underdogs against this talented Harbour View aggregation.

The ‘Stars of the East’ will again be led by the outstanding Jermaine Hue, who will be orchestrating what should be sweet Christmas carols to the visiting Harbour View fans.

The surging and dangerous-looking Waterhouse FC, up to second on 30 points, host fourth-placed Montego Bay United in the high-profile match of the day between two teams in the top four.

The Donovan Duckie coached Waterhouse are unbeaten in their last nine matches, winning six of nine and picking up 15 secondround points to surge into second spot — just seven adrift of the leaders.

In Jermaine "Tuffy" Anderson, Waterhouse have one of the hardest strikers to contain and he, along with Gary McIntosh, Andre Clennon, Weston Forrest, Peter Keyes and Hugh Howell, will again be hard to suppress.

But Montego Bay United have their own youthful weapons in the talented Brian Brown, Dino Williams, Allan Ottey, Omar Gordon, the Bahamian Lesly St Fleur, Kemiro Kames and Fabian McCarthy who are capable of beating any team in the league on their day.

Meanwhile, defending champions Portmore United, in third spot with 28 points, tackle former champion Tivoli Gardens, on sixth spot, but just two points behind on 26 in a closely-knit mid-table.

Portmore United, one of the youngest teams in the league in which seven players aged 20 years old played last week, are playing at a fast pace with the diminutive Alanzo Adlam terrorising defenders with his speed and skill.

Along with Aldaine Grant, Damian Williams, Ewan Grandison, Andrew Vanzie, Stephen Williams and National Under-20 playmaker, Paul Wilson, they could be a handful.

Tivoli will be no pushove and Glendon "Admiral" Bailey has his wellblended unit up and running, losing just once in their last eight games.

Navion Boyd has been coming off the bench to good effect, and alongside Dane Kelly, Nicholas Scott, a more advanced Keithy Simpson, Akeem Thenstead, Christopher Jackson, Shawn McKoy and Kemar Flemmings, Tivoli won’t be easily beaten.

Fifth-placed Arnett Gardens, on 28 points, travel to ninth-placed Sporting Central Academy, on 24 and looking to rebound from their 2-4 defeat to Waterhouse last Monday. Both Arnett and Sporting are free-flowing attacking teams and should provide fans at Brancourt with an entertaining game.

Seventh-placed Boys’ Town, with 26 points, host 10th-placed Humble Lion on 22 and fighting to move away from the relegation zone following two consecutive wins under new coach Geoffrey Maxwell.

Both teams scored long overdue victories last week and the hunt for crucial points continues as they try desperately to close the gap on the teams just above them.

Meanwhile, in the bottom of the table clash, Highgate United, on 16 points, take on bottom-placed Savannah FC, five points adrift, in a most crucial game at Drax Hall Sports Complex.

The promoted Savannah of Westmoreland have lost nine consecutive games and 13 of their last 15 matches, and if they cannot get a win against Highgate United, say goodbye to Premier League football despite not being halfway through the season as yet.




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